Li Auto has recruited a new head for its forward-looking technology R&D business – Xie Yan, the former vice president of Huawei’s Consumer BG Software Department and the head of its Terminal OS Department – 36Kr reported on August 30.
The system R&D department that Xie is now in charge of focuses on the research and development of various underlying intelligent technologies, including the operating system and arithmetic platform researched by Li Auto. It is worth noting that sources disclosed that the arithmetic platform business of Li Auto also includes a self-developed intelligent driving chip project. The self-developed chip project already has a team size of dozens of people and has a clear schedule for mass production.
Banma, an intelligent automobile operating system provider, is based on Alibaba‘s AliOS (formerly known as Alibaba YunOS). Xie is a core member of the AliOS team, having served as its general manager, chief architect and in other management positions.
In 2016, Banma’s product was used on Roewe RX5. The AliOS car version in use is deeply customized on the original AliOS. In 2019, AliOS and Banma were integrated, AliOS was injected into Banma as a technical asset. A number of AliOS staff also left in the process, and Xie Yan was one of them.
After leaving Alibaba, Xie joined Huawei’s HarmonyOS business in a low-key manner, and became the vice president of its consumer business group and software department, head of terminal OS department and chief architect of distributed smart OS. But in early 2022, Xie left Huawei and set sights on car making as the next stop in his career.
Regarding whether Li Auto will develop its own chip, Li Xiang has repeatedly said that “the premise of developing chips is to understand algorithms.” Li Auto, whose self-developed intelligent driving system has been in operation for more than a year, has already established its own knowledge and systems in the field of algorithm.
New energy car-making companies are increasingly developing their own chips. NIO‘s self-developed chip team is under Bai Jian, the vice president of intelligent hardware, and the firm has recruited many people from Huawei, Alibaba‘s DAMO Academy and NVIDIA. XPeng Motors also set up teams in China and the US to promote in-house chip research projects. It once discussed cooperation matters with Marvell, an international chip company.